Jamie Powell and Melissa Staiger: Seeker
Curated by Eileen Jeng Lynch
The Yard: City Hall Park
116 Nassau Street, Floors 5 & 6
New York, NY 10038
January 29 – May 1, 2019
Opening reception: Tuesday, January 29, 6:00 – 8:30 pm
Viewing hours: Monday - Friday, 9:30 am - 5 pm (check in with community manager on floor 5)
and by appointment (contact: email@example.com).
Neumeraki is pleased to present Seeker, an exhibition featuring the works of Jamie Powell and Melissa Staiger, curated by Eileen Jeng Lynch. Powell and Staiger explore colors, forms, patterns, and textures in their vibrant, abstract works—as a means of navigating their lived experiences and pushing the boundaries of painting and sculpture. The artists’ unique assemblages cultivate a sense of play—suggesting movement and energy.
Powell’s modest upbringing in a family of farmers and factory workers in West Virginia has influenced the artist’s use and re-purposing of textile-related materials. Focusing on a soft edge in her work, Powell tears, cuts, braids, and dyes canvases to create brightly colored, sculptural paintings through an intuitive process. Acrylic and spray paint act as dyes for the canvas. With references culled from popular culture, Powell’s pieces explore domesticity and femininity while subverting conventional notions of display. By revealing the underlying support, her work suggests many dichotomies, including absence and presence. Employing humor, Powell formulates titles and compositions that imply a human presence or personality.
For Staiger, paint—along with other materials, including paper, marble, wood, and rigid plastic—become sculptural elements. Embracing the hard edge, the artist methodically assembles and arranges gestures, shapes, and lines—layering textures and structures—to create collages and sculptural paintings. Staiger explains, “When working with materials, I listen to their demands.” Seeking stasis, the artist makes connections between the body, mind, and soul.
Powell and Staiger investigate the use and re-use of materials as well as their personal histories. Chance, spontaneity, and discovery are part of the artists’ practices—capturing dynamic and animated sensibilities in their works.
About the Artists
Jamie Powell was born and raised in West Virginia. For the last decade, New York City has been her home. She has exhibited her paintings extensively over the last twelve years including: FLUXspace in Philadelphia, Soil Gallery in Seattle, David & Schweitzer in Brooklyn as well as Garis & Hahn, Freight + Volume and Morgan Lehman in New York. Jamie received grants from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Vermont Studio Center, and Pratt Institute. Powell has worked extensively in arts education as a faculty member at Pratt Institute and as a Teaching Artist for the Studio in a School Foundation and Lincoln Center Boot Camp. She received her MFA and the Paul Robeson Emerging Artist Award from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University in 2006. Currently, she lives and works in Queens, New York where in 2014 she Co-founded an artist-run-studio and project space called Reservoir Art Space. jamielpowell.com/
Melissa Staiger was born in Louisville, Kentucky and grew up in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, a suburb outside of Washington, D.C. Staiger is an NYC-based artist and independent curator. Staiger’s solo shows include Open the Door at Kent Place Gallery, Summit, NJ (2018); Push with the Tide at Trestle Projects, Brooklyn (2015), and Triangle Works at Janet Kurnatowski Gallery, Brooklyn (2012). Recent group shows have been at ABC No Rio, New York; Benaco Arte, Sirimone, Italy; Cementa Festival in Kandos, Australia, and the Wassaic Project Festival, Wassaic, New York. She has participated in the Robert Rauschenberg Artist Residency in Captiva, FL and was the 2016 Curator-in-Residence for Trestle Projects. Staiger is a board member of ABC No Rio and a member of the American Abstract Artists. She has a BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), Baltimore, MD and an MFA from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY. Staiger lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. melissastaiger.com/
Founded in 2015, Eileen Jeng Lynch collaborates with artists, organizations, and galleries on curatorial, consulting, writing, and editing projects. Jeng Lynch works with artists on career growth and development and has curated exhibitions in galleries and nonprofit institutions, including LMAKbooks+design, Sperone Westwater, Lesley Heller Workspace, Dorsky Gallery Curatorial Programs, Garis & Hahn, and Radiator Gallery. Jeng Lynch is also the Curator of Visual Arts at Wave Hill, where she organizes solo exhibitions by emerging artists for the Sunroom Project Space, co-curates shows in Glyndor Gallery, and is involved in all aspects of visual arts programming.
Founded in 2011 by Morris Levy and Richard Beyda, The Yard is a revolutionary, shared office space that allows driven professionals to work together in an innovative community. The Yard provides month-to-month memberships for private offices, private desks, and co-working spaces in 14 designed locations in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. The community comprises more than 2,000 companies and thousands of members across all locations. Members have access to state-of-the-art conference rooms, beautiful breakout lounges, monthly networking events, rotating art gallery installations, and hundreds of business amenities. theyard.com/